We draw on internationally recognised fire, construction and built environment professionals to provide investigation, technical arbitration, technical dispute resolution and expert witness services.

When an incident, such as a flood or fire, affects business operations and leaves unresolved or disputed issues, we have a wide range of expertise across the whole built environment which enables us to conduct the investigations that will help find the answers. The extensive range of areas in which we can help are shown in the following diagram, and our individual experts and their particular areas of expertise are listed below.

For more information

Call us on 0333 321 88 11 if you would like to know more about our expert witness, dispute and investigation services or need help with a specific issue – or email enquiries@bregroup.com

BRE provides expert witnesses for fire, structures and the environment. For fire this includes arson, product defects, building performance etc. For structures this includes response to fire, wind loading and compliance with building regulations. For environment this includes flooding, pollution and performance of energy systems

Our experts

AllFire Safety

Paul Blackmore

Associate Director, Building Technology Group

Expert in: Wind Engineering

Paul Blackmore

Associate Director, Building Technology Group

Paul Blackmore is a Chartered Civil and Structural Engineer with more than 30 years’ experience, and a leading expert in wind effects on buildings.

As an Associate Director in BRE’s Building Technology Group, Paul’s responsibilities have included managing government and commercial research and consultancy contracts in wind engineering, weathertightness, acoustics, whole building airtightness testing, structural testing, wind tunnels and flood testing.

He has written more than 25 expert witness reports and given evidence in criminal and civil proceedings as an expert on wind effects, including fatal accident investigations, building damage, failure of tower cranes, scaffolds, hoardings and roof coverings.

Gordon Breeze

Principal Consultant, Wind Engineering

Expert in: Wind Engineering

Gordon Breeze

Principal Consultant, Wind Engineering

Gordon Breeze is a Principal Consultant in the Wind Engineering Section of BRE’s Centre for Structural Engineering.

Gordon specialises in the wind testing of both structural components such as walls, roof coverings, roof underlays, roof ancillary products (e.g. gutters, roof vents), louvres, signs and fencing, and larger structures such as the Houses of Parliament’s pinnacles, HMS Victory, hospital walls and floors, light-weight floors, residential tower blocks, grandstands and grandstand risers. His work also includes the wind tunnel testing of model buildings and structures, and the statistical analysis of wind and vibration-related data.

Ed Suttie

Research Director, Centre for Sustainable Products

Expert in: wood durability and protection strategies

Ed Suttie

Research Director, Centre for Sustainable Products

Ed Suttie specialises in timber in construction, wood protection, service life performance, durability by design, materials sustainability, bio-based composites, sustainability assessment and supply chains.

With more than 20 years of experience in wood science and the forest wood chain, Ed leads a team delivering BRE's consultancy and research programmes sponsored by industry, construction users, UK Government and the European Commission. Ed serves on British and European Standards Committees, providing UK expert input. He is an internationally recognised expert in wood durability and protection strategies, and has published widely in the fields of service life, sustainability and timber.

Gareth Howlett

Lighting Consultant

Expert in: Lighting

Gareth Howlett

Lighting Consultant

Gareth Howlett is a Lighting Consultant in the BRE Building Technology Group, specialising in daylight and sunlight consultancy.

Gareth has extensive experience on projects involving daylight and sunlight for planning and rights to light. He has worked on development sites of all kinds, covering loss of daylight and sunlight to neighbouring windows and rooms (including rights to light calculations and costings), daylight and sunlight provision to proposed rooms, sun on ground calculations, shadow plotting and assessing the impacts of trees. He has also been involved in research into the latest lighting technology trends.

Tom Lennon

Principal Consultant - Fire Safety

Expert in: Fire Safety, Structures

Tom Lennon

Principal Consultant - Fire Safety

Tom Lennon is a Principal Consultant with responsibility for structural fire engineering at BRE, specialising in large-scale testing and site engineering.

Since joining BRE in 1983 Tom has become an enormously experienced and highly regarded expert in the behaviour of structures in fire, having been responsible for a great many fire tests on single elements, sub-assemblies and complete structures. Tom’s extensive contacts in the steel, concrete and timber industries, and with representatives of both active and passive fire protection, have given him a very strong understanding of the issues, regulations and standards applying to them.

Steve Manchester

Director - Fire Safety

Expert in: DSEAR, Fire Safety, Fire Engineering

Steve Manchester

Director - Fire Safety

Steven Manchester is the Director of Fire Safety at BRE, specialising in fire safety engineering, fire risk assessment and industrial fire and explosion hazards.

Steven serves as expert witness in a wide range of criminal and civil court cases. Recent examples include fires in waste recycling facilities, a boatyard and a restaurant, the spontaneous ignition of compost, dust explosion incidents and a number of legal cases for compliance with ATEX/DSEAR. Steven joined BRE as a researcher in 1989, becoming manager of the explosion business in 1997, Business Group Manager in 2006 and now Director for the Fire Safety Group.

Barry Reeves

Principal Consultant, Building Technology Group

Expert in: Building Ventilation

Barry Reeves

Principal Consultant, Building Technology Group

Barry Reeves is a Principal Consultant in BRE's Building Technology Group, specialising in structural and building assessment, and full-scale testing and monitoring of buildings.

Barry’s wide ranging expertise includes monitoring, investigating and appraising masonry, steel framed, concrete and system built structures. He also investigates water penetration of basements, roofs and external walls, diagnoses water ingress/egress problems in a range of construction types, and assesses compliance with building regulations and codes of practice. He has provided extensive expert witness and technical advisor services in legal disputes, and in cases involving building system defects and water ingress.

Michael Swainson

Principal Consultant in HVAC Engineering

Expert in: Building Ventilation

Michael Swainson

Principal Consultant in HVAC Engineering

Michael Swainson is a Principal Consultant in HVAC Engineering, undertaking investigations into the performance of buildings and building services systems.

Michael conducts laboratory-based testing, site-based investigation and literature reviews to assess building services performance, focusing primarily on ventilation and the occurrence of overheating. He has considerable experience as an expert witness in cases involving overheating in both new-build and existing homes, and of investigating the design, installation and performance of domestic mechanical ventilation systems - for owners, housing associations and construction companies - to establish the causes of poor performance and detail necessary remedial works.

Cosmin Ticleanu

Principal Consultant, Lighting

Expert in: Lighting

Cosmin Ticleanu

Principal Consultant, Lighting

Cosmin Ticleanu is a Principal Lighting Consultant in BRE’s Building Technology Group, specialising in lighting (electric and daylighting) consultancy, design, research and training.

Cosmin joined BRE in 2011, bringing ten years’ lighting design and research experience, including four years as an academic in lighting and electrical engineering. Cosmin provides consultancy and research services to government, local authorities and private sector clients into all aspects of electric lighting and daylighting. These include daylight and sunlight assessments, light pollution studies, and 3D computer modelling of daylight and electric light. Since 2012 he has been a visiting lecturer at Brunel University.

Tim Yates

Technical Director, Building Technology Group

Expert in: Materials

Tim Yates

Technical Director, Building Technology Group

Tim Yates is Technical Director of the Building Technology Group at BRE, responsible for managing projects relating to stone, heritage and other traditional building materials.

Tim has worked on buildings and structures for more than 35 years, in the areas of archaeology, materials analysis, the impact of climate and pollution on heritage structures, and the testing of stone and mortar. He has vast experience in acting as expert witness and technical advisor for a very wide range of clients, in cases involving natural stone cladding, flooring and paving, roofing materials, buildings and structures, and cast stone and architectural cladding.